Ruby (8) asks “How does the Sun heat the Earth”

Ruby, I thought I would ask my friends about this question.

sun's heat

My friends were not as helpful as they usually are. More questions for me. Let’s look at ‘energy’ first. An explanation I like is – Something has energy when it has the capability of doing something to something else.

Heat is a form of energy because it has the ability to make things warmer. Light is a form of energy because it helps us see things by reflecting off them. Maybe you could continue this list. I think there are about 8 different forms of energy.

One of them is radiant energy. The energy made by the Sun is radiant energy. Radiate means to spread out from a point – this is what happens to the energy of the Sun. This radiant energy has the special ability of being able to travel through a vacuum and as the Space between the Sun and the Earth is a vacuum the Sun’s radiant energy can reach the Earth. Some of that radiant energy is light energy other bits of it become heat energy which on some Summer days keeps us nice and warm.

Ruby. It was a good question. I have tried to reply to it as best as I can. If there are further questions go to Ask Another Question or leave a reply in the Leave a Reply box below … you do not need an email address.(revised 20/7/16)

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